LAHORE – Jamaatul-ul-Ahrar (JuA), an offshoot of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, has reportedly claimed responsibility for the suicide terror attack in Arfa Karim IT Tower on Lahore’s Ferozepur Road that killed at least 25 people and injured 53 others on Monday.

Officials have said that JuA claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement and has also attached a photograph of the bomber. Earlier, the group had done so after carrying out a terror attack on Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park 11 months ago.

Officials involved in the investigation into the incident said that senior police officials were the main target of the suicide bomber who blew himself up during a protest by chemists.

The same group had claimed responsibility for the bomb blast that occurred at Charing Cross, Mall Road that killed 16 people including DIG Traffic Capt (r) Ahmad Mubeen and SSP Mahmood Gondal.

The group had also claimed responsibility for an Easter Day bombing in Lahore last year that killed more than 70 people in a public park.

At least 26 people were killed and more than 50 others wounded in the explosion on the Ferozepur Road near Arfa Karim IT Tower on Monday afternoon, police said.

Lahore police chief Capt (r) Amin Wains said the “police were the target”. He also confirmed that it was a suicide blast. However, sources believe it was a car bomb attack.

According to Rescue 1122, nine policemen are among those who lost their lives in the blast. The area where the explosion occurred is a busy locality near the office of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

The chief minister was in a meeting at his Model Town office when the blast took place.